(Screenshot from DBM FB live) 

MANILA – The Marcos administration is treading the right path to ensure the Philippines’ strong economic recovery, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Saturday (Manila time) assured the Washington-based business and financial leaders.

In a roundtable discussion held in Washington DC, Pangandaman noted that in the past few weeks, there was a “common” observation about the positive outlook on the Philippine economy.

“(There is) optimism about the Philippine economy. This is not without basis. Business, consumers and the government all agreed that the Philippines is on track towards strong recovery,” she told the American business and financial communities.

Despite this, Pangandaman acknowledged that there are “continued external challenges to recovery and economic transformation.”

She, nevertheless, said the Philippine government made sure that its proposed 2023 national expenditure program and structural reform initiatives would meet its economic prosperity agenda.

“We have prepared and designed our policies and programs to address these concerns,” Pangandaman said. “We are working towards economic transformation that will be felt by every individual, family, and business in the Philippines.”

The DBM chief said the PHP5.268-trillion national budget for 2023, which is 4.9 percent higher than the 2022 budget, will account for around 22.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) next year.

She said the government also made “aggressive” budget increases in its priority sectors, including social and human development, agriculture, and infrastructure.

“We are committed to investing in our people through major social and human development expenditures,” she said, as she presented the allotted budget for education, social protection, and health.

“Through these efforts and initiatives, we aspire to provide every Filipino a fighting chance to manage lives' uncertainties and achieve their full potential,” Pangandaman added.

Pangandaman also said the Marcos administration crafted an eight-point socioeconomic agenda to achieve its goals under the Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).

Under the MTFF, the government aims to achieve 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2022; a 9 percent or single-digit poverty rate by 2028; 3 percent national government deficit to GDP ratio by 2028; and less than 60 percent national government debt-to-GDP ratio by 2025.

Pangandaman expressed hope that more US businesses and investors will seek partnerships with the Philippines to realize the Marcos administration's bid for a more robust economy.

“We hope that you will join us in our journey towards economic transformation by investing in the Philippines. On our part, we are providing our investors with a conducive regulatory environment to make your time and investment in the Philippines worthwhile. Let us all be partners in pursuit of economic transformation in our agenda for prosperity,” she said. (PNA)